THE STORY OF CHRISITIAN HOSPITAL AMBILIKKAI
(Beginning of an Era!) (The young couple Dr.Jacob & Dr.Mary Cherian)
The first chapter of the story begins in the late fifties, when two young Medical students, Dr.A.K.Tharian and Dr.Jacob Cherian had a dream, a dream which later they shared with the women they married, a dream which, after graduation, led them to a remote,drought prone,backward village near Madurai, in South India called Oddanchatram. It was the time of a great famine, and some poor people were eating saw-dust to quench their hunger. Others stayed in their mud huts, their gaunt faces showing mute resignation to a cruel fate. The two doctors decided to stay on with their wives which led to start of a large secondary level care Mission Hospital in Oddanchatram.
The Second chapter of the story begins in the late sixties, when a need for a leprosy Hospital in this area was felt which was endemic with Leprosy. Seven kilometres from Oddanchatram, 60 acres of land was purchased at a very low price in Ambilikkai. The place was at first seemed a hostile piece of wilderness with sandy soil, rocks, desert cacti and no signs of greenery or human habitation. The Hospital was started in Ambilikkai , by Padma Bhusan Dr.Jacob Cherian, and Dr.Mary Cherian in the year 1965. In 1973 the Hospital was registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 as “Christian Fellowship Community Health Centre Society”. In 2015 the Hospital was named as “Christian Hospital Ambilikkai” as it was locally known as Ambilikkai Hospital.
Since its beginning, this hospital has grown beyond the imagination of its visionary founders. Initially this hospital looked after only patients with TB and Leprosy. However, once the word about the hospital went around, people with various illness started flocking to the Hospital, and so the work could not be confined only to TB and Leprosy. Gradually it began to grow with specialities being added. Today the Christian Hospital Ambilikkai is a multi-specialty secondary level health care centre, with 248 beds catering to the population of Dindigul and the neighbouring districts (Madurai, Tirupur, Trichy, Erode, Coimbatore).
High prevalence of Cancer in this area led to the beginning of Christian Cancer Centre in the year 1977. From the public health point of view cancer does not figure very high in the order of priorities in India , but it’s devastating effect on the individual victim and his family is just the same. The Christian Cancer Centre is unique in that this is one of the only few Radiotherapy Centres which is located in a rural area. Cancer centre has Teletherapy as well as Brachytherapy facilities.
Dindigul district has a very high prevalence of Cancer cervix and Head and Neck cancer. In recognition of the meritorious services rendered, the International Agency for Research in Cancer (an organisation under the WHO) has started the Early Cancer detection Programme (ECDP) funded by the Bill Gates Foundation The Rural Cancer Registry in collaboration with Adayar Cancer Institute is maintained in the centre.
(Padma Bhushan award to Dr.Jacob Cherian)
Need for education, Community Health and Development lead to formation of “Christian Education Health and Developmental Society” registered in the year 1974 under the Society Registration Act 1860 and it was a beginning of Educational Institutions, Health Centres and Home for the destitute under the leadership of our Founder Late Dr.Jacob Cherian. He was given National Award in the year 1994 by former President of India, Honourable President Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma in recognition of his outstanding services for the welfare of the handicapped and later he also received the prestigious Padma Bhushan award from the Former President of India Honourable President K.R.Narayan in the year 1999 for his contribution in the field of Health, Education & Community Development.
Our Sister Concern Institutions
- Christian Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Oddanchatram
- Shanthinikethan Higher Secondary School, Ambilikkai
- Christian Polytechnic College, Oddanchatram
- Jacob Memorial Chrisitian Arts & Science College,Ambilikkai
- Christian College of Engineering & Technology, Oddanchatram
- Christian Mini Health Centres (18 No’s)
- N.H. Immanuel Home
- Mercy Home